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But for statistical purposes, a 14-year-old boy who works at least one hour a week is officially considered employed, regardless whether he is paid.

Is "of" obligatory after regardless in regardless whether, or, as the Chicago Tribune's journalist writes, one can decide if using it?

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Both phrases are acceptable in Standard English. However, regardless of whether has become far more common over the last hundred years, and some prescriptivists now consider the other form a mistake. Because of this, I recommend you stick to regardless of whether.

Language Log also had an interesting post on this subject, which you may be interested in reading.

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    I think "regardless of" is the better answer. When I looked up "regardless" here collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/american/regardless the examples used "regardless of". Examples on some other dictionary sites were the same way, so I think this should be the common usage. – user485 Mar 19 '13 at 22:11
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    @user3169 Yes, I agree. That's why I said the same thing in my answer. However, I feel it would be inaccurate to call regardless whether non-standard. – snailplane Mar 19 '13 at 22:15

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